1. When we know about the future we normally use the present tense.

  • We use the present simple for something scheduled or arranged:

We have a lesson next Monday.
The train arrives at 6.30 in the morning.
The holidays start next week.
It is my birthday tomorrow.

  • We can use the present continuous for plans or arrangements:

I’m playing football tomorrow.
They are coming to see us tomorrow.
We’re having a party at Christmas.

2. We use will to talk about the future:

  • When we make predictions:

It will be a nice day tomorrow.
I think Brazil will win the World Cup.
I’m sure you will enjoy the film.

  • To mean want to or be willing to:

I hope you will come to my party.
George says he will help us.

  • To make offers and promises:

I'll see you tomorrow.
We'll send you an email.

  • To talk about offers and promises:

Tim will be at the meeting.
Mary will help with the cooking.

3. We use (be) going to:

  • To talk about plans and intentions:

I’m going to drive to work today.
They are going to move to Manchester.

  • When we can see that something is likely to happen:

Be careful! You are going to fall.
Look at those black clouds. I think it’s going to rain.

4. We often use verbs like would like, plan, want, mean, hope, expect to talk about the future:

What are you going to do next year? I’d like to go to University.
We plan to go to France for our holidays.
George wants to buy a new car.

5. We use modals may, might, and could when we are not sure about the future:

I might stay at home tonight, or I might go to the cinema.
We could see Mary at the meeting. She sometimes goes.

6. We can use should if we think something is likely to happen:

We should be home in time for tea.
The game should be over by eight o’clock.

7. Clauses with time words:

In clauses with time words like when, after, and until we often use a present tense form to talk about the future:

I’ll come home when I finish work.
You must wait here until your father comes.
They are coming after they have had dinner.

8. Clauses with if:

In clauses with if we often use a present tense form to talk about the future:

We won’t be able to go out if it rains.
If Barcelona win tomorrow they will be champions.

WARNING: We do not normally use will in clauses with if or with time words:

I’ll come home when I will finish work.
We won’t be able to go out if it will rain rains.

But we can use will if it means a promise or offer:

I will be very happy if you will come to my party.
We should finish the job early if George will help us.

9. We can use the future continuous instead of the present continuous or going to for emphasis when we are talking about plans, arrangements and intentions:

They’ll be coming to see us next week.
I will be driving to work tomorrow.






Hi! Where can I find lessons on sentence structures?

Hi wisefool,

You can find information on this topic in this section. Just use the links on the right to find specific areas you are interested in.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I will buy / am buying a car tomorrow.
I am totally confused about this.
And also for that one .
She is pregnant. She is going to / will have a baby.

Hello Ola Abdelmohsen,

We use different verb forms to talk about the future depending on how we perceive the future action. For example, the present continuous ('am buying') is used to speak about a planned and arranged action, whereas 'will' can be used to speak about something we've just now decided to do. Since buying a car is a pretty big decision for most people, probably the best answer to your first sentence would be 'am buying'.

Both 'be going to' and 'will' can be used to predict a future action. 'will' has a general meaning, but 'be going to' implies that you have evidence that the action you are predicting will happen. Since the woman in the second sentence is pregnant (which is evidence), 'is going to' is the better form here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much

1. It is cloudy. I think it ...... rain.
( is going to / will)
2. It is cloudy. It ....... rain.
( is going to / will )
3. Look it is cloudy! It ..... rain.
( is going to / will )
I am totally confused!!
Thanks in advance.

Hello Mr Ahmed Adel,

This looks like an exercise designed to practise two ways of predicting the future. 'is going to' indicates that you have some concrete evidence that the action you predict will happen, whereas 'will' does not indicate this. Also, 'will' is typically used after 'I think'.

By the way, you might also find our Predicting the future page useful – it explains a few other common ways to use words to predict the future.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

P.S. thanks in advance!

Hello how can to use this is

Hello Sar ya,

Are you asking how to use 'this is'? If so, I'd suggest reading our this, that, these and those page, where you can find an explanation and examples.

If you mean something different, could you please explain it a bit more?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team